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Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra

Saturday, February 25, 2017 8 PM Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
Monumental scale and intense emotion make Brahms’s First Piano Concerto quintessentially Romantic. The concerto opens with a storm of surging passions, soothes with a sensitive second-movement Adagio that the composer said was a “gentle portrait” of Clara Schumann, and energizes with its Rondo finale. It’s muscular solo part is played here by Rudolf Buchbinder, a pianist The Huffington Post praised for “perfect phrasing, magnificent technique … that has placed him among the top tier of the world’s pianists.” Schubert’s beloved “Unfinished” Symphony and Bartók’s spectacularly scored Miraculous Mandarin Suite are also featured.


Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Franz Welser-Möst, Conductor
Rudolf Buchbinder, Piano


BRAHMS Piano Concerto No. 1

SCHUBERT Symphony No. 8, "Unfinished"

BARTÓK The Miraculous Mandarin Suite


GRÜNFELD “Soirée de Vienne,” Op. 56, Concert Paraphrase on Waltzes from Die Fledermaus (after Johann Strauss II)

JOSEF STRAUSS "Frauenherz": Polka-Mazurka, Op. 166

Event Duration

The printed program will last approximately two hours, including one 20-minute intermission. 

This concert is made possible, in part, by the Audrey Love Charitable Foundation.

The Vienna Philharmonic Residency at Carnegie Hall is made possible by a leadership gift from the Mercedes T. Bass Charitable Corporation.

Rolex is the Exclusive Partner of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.

At a Glance

This concert pairs two popular Romantic works with an edgy modernist masterpiece from the early 20th century. Schubert’s “Unfinished” Symphony exists in only two movements, yet is the most performed and beloved of his nine symphonies. It has a mysterious air of completeness and perfection even though it is only half the length of the Ninth Symphony (performed tomorrow at Carnegie Hall in this series). No one knows why Schubert never finished it, an enigma that has increased its mystique. Brahms’s First Piano Concerto is a far larger work, so massive that it often seems as much a symphony as a concerto. Like many of Brahms’s early compositions, it has a special boldness and tension. Bartók’s Miraculous Mandarin, a ballet that became a concert score, is also an early work, featuring a savagery, brilliance, and orchestral virtuosity that Bartók never quite equaled again.


Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra

For the past 175 years, the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra has been inseparably linked with European musical tradition, from the classical to the contemporary. The ...

For the past 175 years, the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra has been inseparably linked with European musical tradition, from the classical to the contemporary. The philharmonic's performances have gone down in musical history, and several masterpieces have been written for the ensemble.

Since its inception by Otto Nicolai in 1842, the fascination that the orchestra has held for prominent composers and conductors, as well as for audiences all over the world, is based not only on a homogenous musical style carefully bequeathed from one generation to the next, but also on its unique history and structure. The foremost ruling body of the organization is the orchestra itself.

In accordance with philharmonic statutes, only a member of the Vienna State Opera Orchestra can become a member of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. Before joining the philharmonic, one must first audition for a position with the State Opera Orchestra and then successfully complete a three-year period before becoming eligible to submit an application for membership in the association of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.

The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra performs approximately 40 concerts annually in Vienna, presents Vienna Philharmonic weeks in New York and Japan, and has participated in the Salzburg Festival since 1922. The orchestra makes yearly guest appearances, playing more than 50 concerts in leading concert halls and festivals around the world; presents the New Year's Concert, which is broadcast internationally in more than 90 countries; and presents the free Summer Night Concert Schönbrunn, which is attended annually by up to 100,000 people.

Since 2008, Rolex has been the Exclusive Sponsor of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.

From the beginning, the orchestra has displayed a strong social consciousness, characterized by a commitment to individuals in need and the fostering of young musicians. To this day, the orchestra annually performs numerous benefit concerts and develops initiatives for needy persons.

The musicians of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra endeavor to implement the motto with which Ludwig van Beethoven prefaced his Missa solemnis: "From the heart, to the heart."

Franz Welser-Möst

Franz Welser-Möst is one of the most distinguished conductors of our day. He has been music director of The Cleveland Orchestra since 2002, and his contract currently runs until 2022.

The artistic profile of his long-term collaboration with The Cleveland Orchestra, which celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2018, is characterized by exceptional programming, numerous premieres, innovative staged opera productions, and a strong commitment to building up a new and, above all, young audience through groundbreaking projects and collaborations. In addition to their regular residencies in the US and Europe, Mr. Welser-Möst and The Cleveland Orchestra have appeared at Carnegie Hall, Tokyo's Suntory Hall, and at the festivals of Salzburg, Lucerne, and Grafenegg.

As a guest conductor, Mr. Welser-Möst has a particularly close and productive relationship with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. He has twice appeared on the podium for its celebrated New Year's concerts, and regularly conducts the orchestra in concert at Vienna's Musikverein, the Lucerne Festival, the BBC Proms, and on tour in Japan, Scandinavia, and the US. This special relationship was recognized in spring 2014, when he was presented with the orchestra's Ring of Honor.

From 2010 to 2014, Mr. Welser-Möst was general music director of the Vienna State Opera. In addition to cultivating the entire repertoire, he conducted 20th-century works such as Janáček's Káťa Kabanová, From the House of the Dead, and The Cunning Little Vixen, as well as Hindemith's Cardillac. In Vienna and Cleveland, he has focused on the operas of Richard Strauss and conducted performances of Salome, Die Frau ohne Schatten, Der Rosenkavalier, Ariadne auf Naxos, and Arabella.

Mr. Welser-Möst is a regular guest at the Salzburg Festival, with recent appearances that include performances of Rusalka, Der Rosenkavalier, Fidelio, and, in summer 2016, a new production of Strauss's Die Liebe der Danae. In 2017, he conducts the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra there in a new production of Aribert Reimann's Lear.

During the 2017-2018 season, Mr. Welser-Möst conducts the Staatskapelle Dresden at the Salzburg Easter Festival, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Mr. Welser-Möst has received many other honors and awards, and his numerous CDs and DVDs have earned many international prizes.

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Rudolf Buchbinder

One of today's legendary performers, Rudolf Buchbinder has appeared in concert all over the world with renowned orchestras and conductors for more than 50 years. For his  ...

One of today's legendary performers, Rudolf Buchbinder has appeared in concert all over the world with renowned orchestras and conductors for more than 50 years. For his 70th birthday in December 2016, he was celebrated in such venues as Suntory Hall in Tokyo, the Musikverein in Vienna, and the Berlin Philharmonie. Other highlights of this anniversary season are concerts with the Staatskapelle Dresden and the Berliner Philharmoniker led by Christian Thielemann. In addition, at the invitation of Mariss Jansons, Mr. Buchbinder serves as artist in residence with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. He has an especially close relationship with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, which named him an Honorary Member in 2016.

Mr. Buchbinder's repertoire ranges from Bach to contemporary music. He has documented this broad artistic range with more than 100 recordings, many of which have won awards. His readings of the works of Beethoven, in particular, have set new standards. With his cyclic performances of the 32 Beethoven sonatas, he has contributed significantly to the development of the performance history of these works. To date, he has performed this cycle more than 50 times in cities that include Berlin, Buenos Aires, Dresden, Milan, Beijing, St. Petersburg, Zurich, Vienna, and Munich. In 2014, he became the first pianist to perform all the Beethoven sonatas during one summer season at the Salzburg Festival. The Salzburg cycle was recorded live and released on DVD.

His latest CD release is a recording of Mozart piano concertos with the Staatskapelle Dresden, directed by Mr. Buchbinder from the piano. A live recording of Brahms's piano concertos with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and Zubin Mehta was released in fall 2016.

Mr. Buchbinder's readings are based on meticulous study of source material. An avid collector of historic scores, he owns 39 complete editions of Beethoven's piano sonatas, and his library contains an extensive collection of first prints, original editions, and copies of Brahms's two original piano concerto scores.

Mr. Buchbinder has been the artistic director of the Grafenegg Festival since its founding in 2007. Under his leadership, it has developed into one of Europe's foremost festivals for orchestral music. He has published two books: his autobiography, Da Capo, and My Beethoven--Life with the Master. Visit buchbinder.net for more information.

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